Mushalmanir Galpo is the last story written by Rabindranath Tagore on 24th-25th June, 1941, njust a couple of months before his death.Director Pranab Chaudhuri, for whom this is the first time that he has turned director thought that the subject was absolutely ideal to be made into a film in the 150th year of his birth anniversary(Bengali calendar).What attracted him to make a film on this subject was the story of a girl turning into a saviour for the helpless women who would be abducted by Madhumallar.
It tells us about the story of Kamala born during those turbulent times when Having a daughter at home was a curse of God.Kamal was brought by her uncle and married off to Nityananda .Both of them were attacked by a dacoit named Madhumallar and her husband ran away leaving her alone. She was rescued by a man called Hobir Khan who gave her shelter and started teaching her ways to protect herself. She also falls in love with his son Karim and even marries him with Habir Khan’s blessings and is renamed ‘Meharjaan’.Kamaal becomes Meharjan at the end of the film and rescues her sister from Madhumallar.
Since no particular time frame has been mentioned by tagore, we have to assume a period when there was extreme turmoil all around , yet Hindus and Muslims did sty together peacefully.This is perhaps the most perect film to be made about Hindu- Muslim unity and about religious tolerance and brotherhood.Well there is no better character to bring this out more clearly than Habir Khan to whom all human beings are equal irrespective of their caste, creed or religion.So much so that at his place he has an Andarmahal where the Hindu women could practis etheir faith and observe their rituals just like they would do anywhere else and ven his sons were not allowed tpo enter the place.In Habir Khan’s Andarmahal, even Goddess Durga is worshipped, he is nothing less than a God to the villagers and to all he is the father figure atht everone looks upto.This film does show us how different the world could have been has people like characters like Habir Khan actually exist or did characters like him just exist in our imagination?Now since this particular character like the character of Kamala/Meharjaan is one of the central characters and is as important as the character of Kamal, it required the presence of an extremely powerful actor to play this role and that too effectively.Well Sudip Mukherjee of ‘Kaatatar’ fame has perhaps surpassed all the others in this film and is excellent.With his deep baritone and his commanding presence, he vrings a dimension to the character which would perhaps been difficult for anyone else to bring out and one can not think of anyone else but him to have played Habir Khan.Biplab Chatterjee as Kamala’s uncle and Anamika Saha as the aunt are good, but it is the newcomer Parama Sarkar who makes an impression playing the role of Sarala.Incidentally she is associated with the theater group Charbak.Well talking of Mumtaz, it is indeed great news that she is getting such roles at the very beginning of her career.When you have films like ‘033’ and Musalmanir Galpo’ which are two films of two universes, you need to change and adapt yourself along with the characters that you are playing just like she was the young brash rock singer Rhea in O33, here she plays the young helpless Kamala , a girl who later becomes the saviour and custodian of several young helpless girls after being a victim of similar circumstances in life.She is able to bring some depth to the character though some may think that she could have doen better.She fights , rides, she cries all with equal élan though in the initial stages in a couple of scenes when she is crying, she overdoes it a bit and sounds a little ridiculous .Otheriwse she is spot on.Very well done Mumtaz.Indrajit did not have much to do in the film and obviously due to other important aspects their relationship is not exactly shown elaborately thoughthey do marry.The music by Pandit Debajyoti Bose is nice , especially the songs sung by Shubhamita.